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Women to Write Home About: Liz Robinson

Liz Robinson Women to Write Home About

For our latest Women to Write Home About interview, Women in Tourism are delighted to feature Liz Robinson, Food, Beverage and Events Manager for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St. Andrews.

In June 2019, Liz Robinson was awarded the very first Young Women in Tourism Rising Star of the Year Award while she was Conference and Banqueting Manager for Fairmont St. Andrews Resort. In recognition of her award,Liz won a bespoke scholarship with HIT Scotland and a year’s membership of Women in Tourism.

In this Women to Write Home About blog, Liz shares moments and learnings from her career and her thoughts on the tourism and hospitality industry, a sector which clearly inspires and motivates her.

Tell us about yourself and what you do

I have had jobs in hospitality since the age of thirteen. From buttering sandwich bread at the local Community Centre to serving souvlakis in a Greek tavern to working in a fine dining restaurant. This led to me starting my studies at the Hotel Management school in Maastricht, the Netherlands. During this time, I did both of my internships in America. During my first internship I worked at the Front Desk which I enjoyed – but I missed the hustle and bustle of restaurants so I did my Management Training in Food and Beverage at the Willard InterContinental – a beautiful 5 star hotel next to the White House. After completing this I started my ‘’first real job’’ in Scotland! And that’s when I ended up at the Fairmont St Andrews resort where I started as a Bar Supervisor and worked my way through the Food and Beverage department, to eventually being in charge of the Conference & Banqueting Department. I had a great experience at the Fairmont, learning so much, as I had so many opportunities to grow and develop, plus, I met my now-husband there! But it was time for a change of scenery and a great opportunity at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews came along. I have been working here since July 2019 as their Food, Beverage and Events Manager.

What, about your work, makes you most proud?

I am very proud to be part of an establishment like the R&A with them being such an influential driver within the world of Golf. It is such a pleasure walking into the clubhouse and seeing all the club history and meeting the members.

Share a moment in your career that you cherish

Within a period of six months I won two awards – one for Leader of the Year at the Fairmont St Andrews Resort and one for Young Women in Tourism Rising Star of the Year. I felt like after a very busy year with a lot of long days this was such a special moment and I really had a moment of “Yes, it was all worth it!’’

What are your hopes for Scottish tourism in the next 5 years?

Scotland is very well known for its great golf courses and with St Andrews being the home of golf, I hope that this will keep attracting golfers from all over the world. With the R&A adapting their Women in Golf Charter to strengthen the focus on gender balance and provide a united position for the golf industry, their aim is to increase the number of women and girls playing and working in golf. With the R&A having these great projects in place for Women in Golf I am sure that the excitement for golf will keep growing among girls and women and that we shall see a lot more females on the Scottish courses and working within golf tourism.

Where is your favourite place to visit in Scotland? In the world?

In Scotland I like a good road trip – I particularly love the Isle of Skye! Slurping oysters at the Oyster Shed while taking in the stunning views… after a few sips of whisky from the distilleries at the bottom of the hill.

Share a moment that, at the time, felt like a setback, but propelled you further into the career you have now

After completing my management training at the Willard, they offered me a job. I had to leave the USA for three months to sort out my visa. During these months the other managers were working extra time to cover my absence and I left most of my belongings behind in storage, only to find out that I was not going to get a new visa, which left me without a job quite suddenly. I was upset about this but I quickly started looking for other jobs and I ended up in Scotland. I did learn that not every time things go as planned and it’s important to not lose motivation. If this had not happened I might not have ended up in Scotland, where I feel so at home and where I have learned (and keep learning) so much.

When family and friends come to visit, which local spots do you take them to?

I often take family and friends for a hike at the Fife Coastal path as I think this is such a beautiful trail with so many different views and landscapes. After this a visit to some of the local distilleries like Kingsbarns and Lindores Abbey, and I love finishing this day off with a Scottish Ceilidh night.

With kind thanks to Women in Tourism members Erin McLelland, our industry interviewer, and to interviewee Liz Robinson for her contribution.

We’d love to hear from Women in Tourism members interested in contributing to the Women to Write Home About interview series. Please email info@womenintourism.co.uk